Rose garden

Rose Garden & Trial Beds

Welcome to one of The Great Lakes Bay Region’s premier rose gardens; highlighting All American Rose Selection roses, hardy shrub roses, and species roses. The Rose Garden is home to 389 rose bushes made up of 345 different varieties. A wonderful team of dedicated volunteers helps to care for the roses throughout the year.    

Rose Donations made in honor of a loved one contribute to the continued care and maintenance of the rose collection. A memorial book listing the names of those honored loved ones resides in the Rose Garden. For more information regarding Rose Donations, please give us a call at 989.631.2677, or visit our website.

While walking through the Rose Garden, you will also find the Trial Beds. Herbert Dow had a passion for experimenting with plant varieties. After recording his findings, he would often send reports to Universities and Agriculture Experiment Stations across the country. Research continues to be an important focus for the Dow Gardens team. The trial beds in this area provide a space for our horticulturists to test which perennials and annuals will do best under local growing conditions. An evaluation is prepared on an annual basis to assist local homeowners and landscapers in finding varieties best suited for Central Michigan. Scores are calculated throughout the summer and plants are rated based on their vigor, profusion of bloom, uniformity of growth, and disease and insect resistance. The annual evaluations can be found on our website at

Dow Gardens Audio Tour
  1. Visitor Center & Gift Shop
  2. Birch Grove
  3. Boulder Pass & Waterfall
  4. Streamside
  5. Conservatory
  6. Secret Garden
  7. Herb Garden
  8. Sun Bridge
  9. The Pines
  10. The Yew Maze
  11. Willow Wedding Site
  12. Red Bridge Overlook & The Maze
  13. Founders' Circle
  14. The Bumps
  15. Observation Island
  16. Wedding Peninsula
  17. Rhododendron Trail
  18. Children's Garden
  19. Rose Garden & Trial Beds
  20. Rose Garden Bridge
  21. Orange Bridge Overlook & The Snake Creek Floodplain
  22. Orchard
  23. Mini Pines
  24. Wildflower Meadow
  25. Playground
  26. Forest Trails
  27. Covered Bridge
  28. Canopy Walk
  29. Education Center